Learning Beyond Wai Gong in Tai Chi Practice

I am amazed at how tai chi learning progresses. Once I had a time remembering basic moves and sequences. Now, even after not practicing for a while, I think I don’t remember the sequence correctly. Well, I actually do, and then I realize I’m at the cusp of being free to truly practice the internal components: precision, shape, force, control, eloquence. Something to look forward to if you practice long enough.

Another attempt to give meaning to the term tai chi

A lot of people don’t know what tai chi is . . . . really is. We’ve all heard a bunch to stuff from different sources, but I think that the best way to know what tai chi is is to do it. I think more people would be more likely to do it if they understood a little more about. I’ve taken it upon myself to to write and talk about what tai chi is in as many of its manifestations as I am aware of—to the limits of my own understanding. So here is another attempt to give meaning to the term: tai chi, tai ji, taijiquan and all its other spellings. It won’t Read More …

How we move says so much

Sunday, June 9, 2019 How we move says so much about us. We identify so closely with how we move. Whether or not we are aware of it, our manner of moving is very often a matter of self-image. Posture and gait even develop from attitudes—how we see ourselves and how we wish others to see us. It’s a personality thing. We would not be the person we know if we moved differently. We’re not going to saunter like John Wayne, because we are not him. Our walk is us; our posture is us. The famous actor’s walk was made up, of course. Normally, we are not conscious of how we walk and stand. We learned Read More …

Recalling yourself with tai chi

Part of doing tai chi is to find a familiar part of yourself that you forgot about. You feel good when you find it, like when a long-lost and loved relative or friend appears out of thin air. It’s a satisfying feeling that says all is not lost and hope abounds. Tai chi is about recall as much as it is about simply moving. Mental and physical work complement each other. Do tai chi to remember yourself.  

New George Xu video just out

George Xu Presents Elementary Exercises for Developing Internal Martial Skill: 14 Essential Everyday Moves (with English Subtitles) A film by Paul Tim Richard, 48 minutes I have been producing, or co-producing, taijiquan and internal martial arts videos since 2002; about 16 years. Master George Xu and Susan A. Matthews got me going and I’m still working with them. I’m happy to film, edit and distribute Master Xu’s knowledge (with his expressed permission, of course) in order to disseminate this vital information that I have seen few, if any, other teachers demonstrate in practice. In this video, Master Xu leads 14 basic moves and explains in detail how to do the moves in order to make the Read More …

New book offers novices and beyond activities, concepts for developing a tai chi practice

“At its core tai chi is a practice, a routine activity that you engage in, in order to improve and maintain specific kinds of movement for a multitude of results, such as for overall health and longevity.” This statement in my new book, Practicing Tai Chi: Ways to enrich learning for beginning and intermediate practitioners, offers ways to think about a tai chi practice and to learn a few techniques from tai chi movements. It’s a brief learning aid that I wrote to instruct and inspire, but also to have as a reference to keep handy for reviewing concepts related to an authentic tai chi practice. It’s really about the process of learning tai chi, or as Read More …

Adapt to change with tai chi

Tai chi is a tool for adapting to changing conditions. Change prevails wherever you look. The weather changes. The wind blows, doesn’t blow, blows hard, then is a breeze. The temperature is hot, cool, cold. It’s raining or it’s dry. Grass is green and moist, or brown and maybe tinder dry. A tree never stops growing. It’s always at some point of changing from a sprout to a tree. Even a desert plant that seems never to grow is active in its own way. Water flows in a stream or river. It is never the same river, they say. People change. We flow, or stumble, through emotions all day and even through our dreams at night. Read More …

Tai chi and getting some energy back

It is said that we are born with a finite amount of energy and that is all we have to make it through life. As life progresses that supply of energy is depleted through living: events, act, thoughts, points of view. It takes energy to live. Less of our original life force becomes available to us as we age. It becomes stuck, tucked away, or wasted upon others. We can get much of it back, however. If you knew this were possible, would you consider doing what it would take to get it back?